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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jun;17(6):966-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00086-10. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Evaluation of the Bio-Rad BioPlex 2200 syphilis multiplex flow immunoassay for the detection of IgM- and IgG-class antitreponemal antibodies.

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Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


The laboratory diagnosis of syphilis is based primarily upon serologic findings. Historically, serologic testing for syphilis has relied on assays such as rapid plasma reagin, fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption, Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TP-PA), and more recently, enzyme immunoassay (EIA). In this study, we evaluated the performance of a novel multiplex flow immunoassay (BioPlex 2200 Syphilis; Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA) for the detection of antitreponemal IgG- and IgM-class antibodies. Serum specimens (n = 1,008) submitted for routine treponema-specific antibody testing by syphilis IgM and IgG EIA (Trep-Chek; Phoenix-Biotech, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) were also analyzed by the BioPlex Syphilis multiplex assay. Specimens showing discordant results were repeat tested, with further discrepancies being arbitrated by TP-PA. Compared directly to the results of EIA, the BioPlex IgG assay demonstrated 98.7% (77/78) sensitivity and 99.4% (916/930) specificity. Compared to the Trep-Chek IgM EIA, the BioPlex IgM assay showed 80% (4/5) sensitivity and 97.9% (652/666) specificity. These results indicate that the BioPlex Syphilis multiplex assay shows similar serological agreement with EIA while allowing for a fully automated random-access platform that provides faster (1.7 h for 100 samples versus 4.5 h by EIA) and higher-throughput (800 samples per 9 h versus 200 samples by EIA) analysis of the syphilis serologic response.

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